Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's The Pain Management, Stupid

Here’s a great piece on why assisted suicide and euthanasia are not the answer to those who are suffering at the end of life. Pain management works, it’s just not practiced as much as it needs to be.
Authentic Compassion: Pain Treatment at the End of Life
In 1994, Dr. Charles Cleeland authored a study that found that 42% of cancer patients with pain were receiving inadequate therapy for their pain. This led to the Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines for more aggressive pain management and the ubiquitous question about your level of pain “on a scale of 1 to 10” every time you visit the doctor for any reason.
The interest in pain management was actually a response to the push for legalized assisted suicide. Advocates of assisted suicide claimed that uncontrolled pain justified aiding cancer patients to end their lives. At the time, there were proclamations by medical experts that 90% of pain could be easily treated and there was no risk of addiction for those who were actually in pain.
So where are we nearly two decades later? more

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